Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Minny's Chocolate Pie, Pinterest Stuff (More Easter Basket Ideas)

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I am re-posting my meeting of The Pioneer Woman in April of 2011.

It's hard to believe it has been three years since we first met, bonded and became kindred spirits.

If you walked up to her today and asked her about me, she might say she doesn't know what I'm talking about, but we had a life-changing moment, Folks.

I know because I was there!

She is, and will always be, my BFFWDARMM.

Best Friend Forever Who Doesn't Actually Remember Meeting Me.

Read on!

Well, I met her. The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond. Blogger, Cookbook Author, Photographer, Homeschooling Mom Extraordinaire.

And it was thrilling, I tell you. Thrilling!

I've never been to a book signing. This was a first for me. And because I've never attended a book signing, I didn't know the "rules." (Yep. There are rules... Even for a book signing.)

Actually there are a TON of rules for a book signing. Let me share my new-found knowledge with you this morning.

I thought you could arrive one to two hours prior to the book signing and get in line. WRONG!

BOOK SIGNING RULE #1 - It is advised to come the DAY BEFORE THE BOOK SIGNING and obtain a NUMBER. Waiting until one to two hours prior to the book signing is a HUGE mistake. Just ask me... Number 218!

I knew The Pioneer Woman (Ree to her closest, dearest friends) was popular. I did not know she was shoulder-to-shoulder, chest-to-back, packed crowd popular.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #2 - Wear something that "breathes." Wear something cotton. Preferably just a bra. It gets hot in those crowded situations.

I knew when I talked to Number 10, I was in big trouble. She had four other people with her.

Do you understand?

Number 10 was a group of FIVE people.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #3 - Up to FIVE people can hold one number. That means instead of just talking to, signing and having her picture taken with one person, you have to multiply it by FIVE.

I also knew from faithfully reading her blog, she has to make bathroom trips during these marathon book signings.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #4 - After you have had a leisurely one-hour dinner with your husband (and you return to the book signing to discover they are only on Number 64), find a place to sit down near the bookstore bathroom. She's going to go to the bathroom. Have your camera ready!

There is a very specific order in which you must prepare your book(s) prior to signing.

BOOK SIGNING RULE #5 - You MUST have a sticky note with your name printed neatly in Sharpie on the left side of the Title Page. The paper book cover must be folded in such a way as to open your book immediately to that page. This must be checked by three or four staff members prior to meeting The Pioneer Woman.

From 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., I waited. Mikie joined me after work. We had dinner together. Sat in the bookstore and looked at books together. Took a small nap around 9:00 p.m. together.

And then it was my turn.

I have to say, at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, I was looking very good. I had on my Pioneer Woman flowy top. I was wearing my Pioneer Woman earrings. My hair was behaving well. My breath was fresh. My speech was prepared. I was READY!

I also have to say, five hours later... Not so much!

Right before my turn, I generously re-applied lipstick. Mikie had the camera ready. I walked up to Ree. She was gracious, warm and said, "It is lovely to meet you."

I took a deep breath before I gave her my prepared (straight-from-the-heart) speech... And silently nodded.

She looked at me with a big smile. "Are you doing okay this evening?"

I again nodded.

She looked at me again. She signed my book. She told me to look at Mikie. "I always instinctively know when a camera is pointed at me," she said and giggled.

I said something like, "Ackmoffyuh."

She patted my arm and said, "Thank you so much for coming."

I nodded.

Mike got my other arm and guided me out of the book signing area.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"How much fun was that? It was thrilling, I tell you! Thrilling! Let me see the picture!"

And he did. And it was good.

I grinned all the way to the Big Gold Van. And then I drove home with Mikie following behind.

If you ever get a chance to go to a book signing, I highly recommend it!

It's a great way to spend six hours of your life.

Oh. And don't worry about preparing a speech.

"Ackmoffyuh" is always an appropriate response to any and all conversations you might have with a celebrity.


RANDOMNESS #2 - Spring has officially sprung.

You can tell by the blooms and buds.

You can even see a little Spring in Copper.

But Sparkle...

Well, not so much.

RANDOMNESS #3 - This is a picture of Roxie's Sunday School Teacher, Miss Michelle, surrounded by some of Roxie's Sunday School Friends.

Six years ago, Mike and I were Directors of the Middle School and High School Department. (Basically, we counted the always moving herds of teenagers and turned in our "numbers" to a person sitting at a desk in another building for the "records.")

Our job was super-duper important.

On this particular Lord's Day, it was the first Sunday the 6th graders would be coming into the Youth Department, so Mike and I were looking for the young and terrified ready to welcome, comfort and help them find a friend and/or teacher.

I noticed a really pretty woman walk in the door and she was looking back and forth, searching for someone.

"Probably wants to make sure her kiddo is okay," I thought to myself, and I made my way across the crowded foyer to talk to her.

I introduced myself, and asked if I could help her.

"I'm supposed to be teaching girls in the Youth Department," she told me. "My name is Michelle."

"Okay." I took her directly to our Youth Minister, introduced them and the rest, as they say, is history.

Roxie's 6th grade class of girls coming into the Youth Department that day did not have a teacher... yet.

And then God sent Miss Michelle to us.

Roxie and Friends are in the 11th grade, and Miss Michelle has been with them this entire time.

She loves them inside and out, and they feel the same way about her.

And get this...

When Miss Michelle came to the Youth Department, it was a pretty normal assumption she probably had some teens of her own.

Not so.

She was the mother of three young boys.

And not just a mother, but a super, fun, energetic Mom to her crew.

I have no doubt Michelle is a "placed by God" kind of teacher.

I also have no doubt the influence she has had on Roxie and Friends, and I love she has not only taught the girls Bible lessons and life lessons over the last six years, but she has also shown them how to be obedient to God's direction.

I might as well admit it... Roxie's Mom has learned a great deal from Miss Michelle, too.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Can I just say, I love this horse?

Roxie and I were looking through her phone pics today, and she had a picture of this particular horse from our Mountain Trip in February.

I, too, had several pictures of this horse, but none of them showed his/her personality like this one.

I may or may not be a little jealous Roxie got this pic instead of me.

The Chick doesn't even try to take a good pic. It just happens!

Yep. I'm a little bitter.

Minny's Chocolate Pie

You will need the following:

1 packaged pie dough crust
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Ease the pie crust into a 9" pie plate and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the crust lightly with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until set.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.

3. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center.

4. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking.

5. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges.

6. Serve with whipped cream.

I made this pie Sunday, and while it was good, it was better last night after dinner.

I will be making this one again.

Pinterest Stuff

More Easter Basket Ideas


Generic Tabletop Football Game
Sports Bottle
Flag Football Set
Extreme Dot to Dot Sports Puzzle
Sports Illustrated Multi-Sport Edition Trivia Game
Sport Sunglasses
Sport Disc


Gardening Gloves
Garden Tool Set
Beginner’s Gardening Book


Crayola Washable Watercolors With Brush
Crayola Colored Oil Pastel Sticks
Crayola Craft Brush Set
Safety Scissors
Crayola 240 Sheet Construction Paper
Rainbow Scratch Art Boards

Mad Scientist

Volcano Making Kit
Magnifying Glass
Science Experiment Books
Crystal Mining Kit
Weather Station Kit
Microscope Set

Have a delightful week. I'll be back Friday with Weekend Happenings, some "surprise" pics from a "surprise" destination and some more Easter ideas!

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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